PASADENA (Sept. 2, 2019) – The Caltech men's soccer team excited fans in its 2019 home debut against San Diego Christian College on Monday afternoon but ultimately came up short to the Hawks in the second overtime period.
The Beavers got on the board early thanks to the work rate of starting forward Rohan Mirchandani (Pleasanton, Calif. / Foothill). The junior put forth arguably the best game of his career to date and kicked it off by drawing a foul in the opposing box to set up the first of two Caltech penalty kick attempts on the day. Mirchandani responded by burying the routine shot and in doing so gave the home team a 1-0 lead 29 minutes in.
After the Hawks responded with a pair of unanswered goals, Mirchandani again answered the bell. This time, the Caltech forward created his own run down the left side, getting the initial jump on his defender before making a hard double-cut towards the net as he began to run out of space. Mirchandani went on the beat the opposing goalkeeper with a tough shot from a sharp angle on the left side to tie the game with just seven minutes to play in regulation.
Mirchandani and the Beavers dominated the game on the offensive end, outshooting the opposition 24-10 with several shots coming within inches of the net with plenty of power. Caltech tightened up defensively the longer the game transpired with just six shots getting through to junior goalkeeper Joe Como (Glen Cove, N.Y. / Friends Acad.) thanks in large part to outside backs Travis Xiang (Sanford, Fla. / Seminole) and JD Walker (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Grand Blanc). Like the defense in front of him, Como too improved over the course of the game with his biggest save coming in the first overtime period when a San Diego Christian shot curved towards the bottom right corner of the net through a screen. However, the junior found himself in perfect position and made a typically tough save with relative ease. The Beavers' offensive pressure continued into both overtime periods, but the Hawks eventually got enough space in the Caltech end of the field to unload a nearly unstoppable shot from about 40 yards out to undo the Beavers' great collective work.
Head Coach Phil Murray and the Beavers will look to even their record when they host Providence Christian College this Saturday at 11 a.m. in a rematch of last year's 6-0 home victory over the Sea Beggars.